Bryozoa-Filter Feeding

Project Leader - Audra Chaput - August 2008

bryozoa08.jpg Sal DeCarli and Author Audra Chaupt sampling colonies. Photo: RMB08 class member Abstract Most bryozoa species live colonially in groups ranging from millimeters2 to meters2 in area (Waggoner 1995) and rely on suspension feeding to receive nutrients from the surrounding water. Bryozoa use their lophophores (feeding tentacles) to create a current towards their mouths (Okamura and Doolan 1993; Pratt 2004), and individuals within larger colonies may work synchronously to create a stronger current (Pratt, 2004). The purpose of this experiment was to determine if the colonial lifestyle benefits bryozoan’s ability to suspension feed. We studied the effects of colony size of Membranipora membranacea and time on the number of yeast particles remaining in the water. We found that both colony size and time were significant factors (p=0.014 and p=0.012 respectively) in the number of yeast particles remaining in the water. In particular, small sized colonies showed a significantly different mean number of particles left in the water than medium and large sized colonies (p<0.05). Also, the time interval zero was significantly different than time intervals forty, sixty, and eighty elapsed minutes (p<0.05). The results of our study suggested that larger colony size allows for more suspension feeding of the colony as a whole and less energy expenditure feeding for the individual zooid. bryozoaresults08.jpg Mean number of yeast particles counted as a function of three size classes of Membranipora membranacea colonies for five time intervals (time elapsed from introduction of colony into the water).  Size classes were based on area of the colony. Small= 1.171-4.422 cm(n=7 colonies), medium= 8.193-28.476 cm2 (n=8 colonies), and large= 39.751-87.653 cm2 (n=3 colonies).  Yeast particles in clusters of three or more were excluded from the counts.  Error bars= +/- 1 S.E. Figure: Audra Chaput Major - Biology-Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior University of New Hampshire '11 Future Plans   - I plan to continue my studies in biology, and hope to one day to research on animal behavior and evolution.
Audra Chaput
last updated 1 July 2013

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